Discover Benelux | Education | Top Schools Guide
A truly international primary school TEXT: ANNA VILLELEGER | PHOTOS: BEPS INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL
BEPS International School in Brussels offers a global curriculum promoting international mindedness for children aged two and a half to 12. The school’s global community is a closeknit one, with the family atmosphere enhanced by its unique setting: BEPS was founded in a beautiful house on Avenue Franklin Roosevelt in 1972. Over the past five years, renovation works have updated the building and playground, but the original interior elements and layout maintain the warmth of the family home it once was. “It’s a stunning building and very particular to us,” begins director Pascale Hertay. “Children feel at home right away.” A passionate advocate of the International Primary Curriculum (IPC), Hertay arrived at the school in January 2014. “I could talk about IPC all day long,” laughs the Belgian-born head, who has lived in places such as The Hague and the Middle East and brings extensive experience from the international school sector. 56 | Issue 41 | May 2017
The IPC is a comprehensive, thematic, creative curriculum, offering a clear process of learning and specific learning goals for each subject. It promotes international mindedness and personal learning. “IPC is a fantastic curriculum and such an important part of our school’s DNA,” enthuses Hertay, explaining that the benefits go way beyond academic achievement. “At the end of a lesson we don’t just ask the children what they learned academically. There is also a focus on qualities which will serve them in later life such as resilience, respectfulness and adaptability.” The IPC curriculum was developed in relation to important factors including the demands of today’s world and research into how the brain works. It is fundamental that the individual learning styles of pupils are taken into account. Currently there are 200 pupils from more than 45 nationalities at BEPS. The school
is always looking for new ways to support pupils’ learning and has its finger on the pulse of the latest research. “Every year we implement up-to-date research to ensure the best possible learning experience for students - whatever their level is when they arrive.” At BEPS all cultures are celebrated, with the school recognising the importance of a child’s native language. “Research shows the use of the mother tongue is important when developing a second language. The mother tongue acts as scaffolding until the child attains an academic level of English,” reveals the head. The ‘international mindedness’ cultivated at BEPS is reflected in its staff, who come from English-speaking countries ranging from Ireland to Canada. The diversity of staff mirrors the multicultural classroom at BEPS. “We truly are an international community,” smiles Hertay. www.beps.com
Promoting Belgium, The Netherlands and Luxembourg.